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Funeral Etiquette

Are you uncertain about what to do at a funeral? Have you wondered what options are available if you can’t attend a funeral? This section teaches you everything you need to know to help you do the right thing before, during and after the service.

What to Do

Offer Words of Condolence

Offering comforting words to the family is usually the easiest thing you can do. It's also something the family will appreciate and remember. If you're attending the service, offer your condolences in person or share a story or special memory about the deceased. If you can't be there, send a card or share your message using our "Book of Memories" online memorial tribute page.

Below are examples of comments that might be appreciated by the family of the deceased:

  • You're sorry about the deceased's passing
  • The deceased will be sorely missed by friends and colleagues
  • Express how much you loved this person and how bereaved you feel
  • You know how much the deceased loved and cared for the people who are left behind
  • The grief you feel for the person who is left behind
  • What a wonderful person the deceased was
  • Offer anecdotes or stories about the deceased

Sign the register book during the visitation

The register book is something the family will have forever, and they will appreciate knowing you were present.

Send a gift to the family

Appropriate gifts include flowers, a donation to a charity (oftentimes the family will have a preferred charity), food or a service. You can send your gift to the family's home or the funeral home. Please ensure you include a signed card with your gift so the family knows who sent it.  For your convenience, you can access the deceased's obituary on our website and order flowers or sympathy cards directly from their online tribute page.

Stay in touch with the family

Depending on your relationship with the family, you may choose to stay in touch in person, by telephone, mail or online. The grieving process can be long and difficult. You will serve the family well by letting them know you're there for them.

What to Wear

If you are attending a viewing or visitation, it is appropriate to wear something respectable.  Dressing formally is not necessary or expected.  For instance, a man might wear slacks and a golf shirt.  A woman might wear pants and a blouse. Even a decent pair of shorts is okay.  If you can, try to avoid wearing T-shirts, or jeans with holes.  

At the funeral, people in the past would wear black to a funeral. Today it's acceptable to dress in a wider range of colors and clothing styles.  A good rule of thumb is to dress as you would if you were to attend church or a job interview.

Immediate Need

If you have immediate need of our services, we're available for you 24 hours a day.

Obituaries & Tributes

It is not always possible to pay respects in person, so we hope that this small token will help.

Pre-Arrangement

Dying is one of the few events in life that's certain to occur, yet one we rarely plan for. Should we spend more time preparing for a two week vacation than we do our last days on Earth?

Daily Grief Support by Email

Grieving doesn't always end with the funeral: subscribe to our free daily grief support email program, designed to help you a little bit every day, by filling out the form below.

Weekly Email Tips to Support a Grieving Friend

It's hard to know what to say when someone experiences loss. Our free weekly newsletter provides insights, quotes and messages on how to help during the first year.

Proudly Serving the Communities of Chenango County, Norwich, Guilford, Mount Upton, North Norwich, Preston, Pharsalia, Plymouth, South Plymouth, Oxford, Sherburne, Greene, New Berlin, South New Berlin, Smithville Flats, Smyrna, Binghamton, Oneonta, Edmeston, Morris, Bainbridge, Earlville, Afton, Cincinnatus, and and Columbus.
607-336-3993 Wilson Funeral Home
68 South Broad Street
Norwich, NY 13815
Email: wilsonfhny@gmail.com
607-336-3993 Wilson Funeral Home
68 South Broad Street
Norwich, NY 13815
Email: wilsonfhny@gmail.com
607-336-3993 Wilson Funeral Home
68 South Broad Street
Norwich, NY 13815
Email: wilsonfhny@gmail.com
607-336-3993 Wilson Funeral Home
68 South Broad Street
Norwich, NY 13815
Email: wilsonfhny@gmail.com
607-336-3993 Wilson Funeral Home
68 South Broad Street
Norwich, NY 13815
Email: wilsonfhny@gmail.com